August days, muggy haze.
But I could not avoid the subway.
Bodies forced to touch.
He was standing across from me.
Our eyes locked as both of our hands reached
for that slimy silver pole.
Black fingernails. Black hair.
Black clothes. Hauntingly pale skin.
He reeked of smoke. And a bit of booze.
In that moment my greatest fear
was my hand touching his ugliness.
I pursed my lips and averted my eyes.
Holding onto that pole
Like i was holding on for my life.
Her blue eyes were empty. I knew her type.
WASPY preacher with so much money,
She had no choice but to turn to God.
Red finger nails. Blond Hair.
Black clothes, with that little white strip around her neck.
It must be choking her mind. That’s why her face is so pale.
I kept my eyes on the map just ahead of her.
Focused on my hand staying put.
The train braked- jolted- stopped.
Manipulated by physics
Our bodies surged forward
Then snapped back.
In perfect sync,
Her hand slipped up;
Mine slipped down.
Our skin had been shared.
Millions of ugly germs swimming between
our meager hands.
We had shared.
We were shared.
Our eyes locked back together.
But neither had won.
We were at the mercy of the train.
And for that one moment.
Right before the 56th Street exit.
We knew each other. We knew.
And we smiled.